Climate & Diversity
The Department of Philosophy is committed to creating a welcoming, diverse, and supportive environment for all members of our community — including students, faculty, staff, and affiliates. We recognize the importance of addressing the structural injustices associated with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, and ableism within our discipline.
Committee for Climate & Diversity
2021 – 2022 Members of the Climate & Diversity Committee: TBA
The Committee for Climate & Diversity provides various resources and organizes several events aimed at making philosophy a more diverse and inclusive field. We help connect students and faculty with the many resources that are available at Boston University for dealing with issues, such as harassment, that may arise. We provide a growing list of professional resources for creating more inclusive classroom environments and for developing better practices for philosophical engagement within our community. We organize events, such as the Annual Climate in Philosophy Lecture Series, which brings in leading scholars to provide cutting-edge research on how to address problems of climate and promote diversity and inclusivity in Philosophy.
University Diversity Statement
Boston University’s founders opened its doors to all students without regard to religion, race, or gender. Building and sustaining a vibrant community of scholars, students, and staff remains essential to our mission of contributing to, and preparing students to thrive in, an increasingly interconnected world.
We strive to create environments for learning, working, and living that are enriched by racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. We seek to cultivate an atmosphere of respect for individual differences in life experience, sexual orientation, and religious belief, and we aspire to be free of intellectual parochialism, barriers to access, and ethnocentrism.
Success in a competitive, global milieu depends upon our ongoing commitment to welcome and engage the wisdom, creativity, and aspirations of all peoples. The excellence we seek emerges from the contributions and talents of every member of the Boston University community.
BU Diversity & Inclusion
Boston University Diversity & Inclusion (BU D&I) works closely with all of the University’s 17 schools and colleges to help create a positive and welcoming campus climate, and ensure that we are recruiting world-class students, staff, and faculty whose experiences and viewpoints embolden the academic endeavor. Ultimately, we strive to make sure the paths to academic, professional, and social success are open and unimpeded to every member of the BU community. Click here to learn more about BU D&I.
Implicit Bias, Microaggressions, and Difficult Academic Climates
“Much recent attention has focused on cognitive schemas, or subconscious patterns of interpreting the world around us. Cognitive schemas help us to navigate and categorize the world quickly, yet some of them are troubling.
“One form of cognitive schema is implicit bias, which associates negative attributes with individuals or groups (e.g., weakness and women, or violence and African Americans). These implicit biases often operate in our thinking and decisions even when we consciously disavow the stereotype in question.
“Implicit biases may also give rise to microaggressions, which include statements or actions that are not overtly discriminatory but nonetheless communicate prejudice, insult, or deprecation toward marginalized groups, and may cause discomfort or feelings of alienation. While each instance of biased cognition and behavior against women and minorities might be considered relatively insignificant on its own, all of the instances taken together lead to the accumulation of disadvantage, as compared to others who do not face similar inequities.
“In anticipation of being evaluated in terms of a negative stereotype, an individual’s ability to perform counter-stereotypical activities may be diminished. This is known as stereotype threat. For example, an African American student may do worse on a test as a result of her fear of confirming negative stereotypes about her race, which throws off her test-taking abilities.”
The Department of Philosophy is committed to removing the presence and threat of implicit bias, microaggressions, stereotype threat, and other forms of discrimination and difficulty that threaten members of our community.
Do you feel like none of the above behaviors apply to you? Take Harvard’s Implicit Association Test.
Want to learn more? Implicit Bias & Philosophy offers a fantastic reading list.